The controversial award of the Plymouth FM licence to Australian bank Macquarie reached the House of Commons on Tuesday, where a leading minister was accused of ‘passing the buck’ by a local MP.
Plymouth MP Linda Gilroy said the win by Diamond FM had provoked ‘consternation, disbelief, astonishment and downright anger’ amongst the residents and businesses of the city. Broadcast minister James Purnell said Gilroy had made an ‘extremely powerful case’, in that Ofcom’s decision had been unpopular locally, however the decision was not a matter for the Government. “We need to recognise that licensing is a matter for Ofcom, which take decisions independently of Government. That is quite proper. It is not for me to justify or defend Ofcom’s decision.”